Friday, August 18, 2017

Cross Roads School Lawsuit Settled

February 5, 1925 from an Olney Newspaper
Cross Roads Schoolhouse Cases Settled
Nitroglycerin Explosion in 1921 Cost Lives of Teacher and Seven Pupils.

The suits of parents and guardians of the seven children who lost their lives in the nitroglycerine explosion at Cross Roads schoolhouse February 7, 1921 against the American Glycerine Company for damages has been settled. Monday afternoon the defendant’s attorneys and the attorneys for the plaintiffs reached an agreement that damages in the sum of $2500 should be paid in each case after the defendants went before the court with their confession. Judge Miller accepted the agreement and entered judgment for the above sums and assessed the cost of the cases to the American Glycerine Company.

It was four years ago that the explosion at Cross Roads schoolhouse, 2 miles west of the city, occurred. A presumably empty nitroglycerin can had been found by some of the pupils at the school and in some manner was discharged, killing seven children and the teacher, Emmett Bunyan.

Parents of the children and the widow of Mr. Bunyan brought suit against the American Glycerine Company, alleging negligence in permitting the can to be where it might be found by the children. The suit of Mrs. Bunyan was first tried and resulted in a verdict of $8000 for the plaintiff, which was later affirmed on appeal.

 Ed Note:  For more about the accident see ‘Readin,’Ritin’, and ‘Rithmetic, the Early Schools of Lawrence County, Illinois book.  You can order it here . 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Don't Let Children Play with Matches

September 1, 1927 from our researcher in Olney

Two Children Dead from Gas Explosion   (published in Olney newspaper)
Margaret Combs, four and Merle Combs, two, children of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Combs, of Sumner, are dead as a result of an explosion of gas Sunday afternoon at the home of friends near Lawrenceville. The two children, with a little boy whom they were visiting, were playing in an outbuilding where gas was connected. One of them turned on the gas while another got a match.

Upon coming back the one with the match noticed there was too much gas turned on and turned it out. The match was then struck and the gas that  had filled the room exploded. The parents rushed to the scene but the children were so badly burned that Margaret passed away Sunday night and Merle lingered until Wednesday morning when he too died. The parents were burned in attempting to save the children, but they were not seriously injured.  

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Three Cummins Brothers Die in Civil War

 Isaac Cummins (Cummings) Sr. was living in Jefferson County IN with seven children:  Malinda, Sarah, Michael, James, William, Isaac, and Mary, but by 1860 the Cummins family had moved west and settled in Petty Township of Lawrence County, IL.  There were three sons of age to serve in the Civil War and all three enlisted.   None of the three came home alive.

James, born in 1838 in Kentucky, became the first to enlist when he went to Lawrenceville and enlisted on July 26, 1861.  He was mustered into Company G of the 11th Missouri Infantry on August 6, 1861 at the Arsenal in St. Louis, MO for three years of service.  The Company Muster Roll for May/June of 1862 shows him absent, sick at Camp Gaylord, MS beginning on June 29, 1862.  On the Muster Roll of Sept./Oct. of 1862, he was listed as a patient in the hospital at Jefferson Barracks, MO since October 10, 1862.  He had been wounded in the hand during the Battle of Corinth about a week earlier.  Again, he was listed as sick beginning on November 1, 1862.  He had been given leave to return home earlier and was indebted to the government for $2.78 for his transportation to Sumner.  James was killed in the assault on Vicksburg on May 22, 1863.  He was one of over 3,000 Union soldiers to be lost in that assault.  The researchers found no burial location for James.
William, born about 1841 in Kentucky was the second of the brothers to volunteer when he enlisted on November 22, 1861 at Bridgeport in Company I of the 66th Illinois Infantry.  He was mustered in three days later at Benton Barracks near St. Louis, MO.  This regiment was initially known as Birge’s Western Sharpshooters and first served under General Fremont in Missouri.  Later it was designated as the 66th Illinois Infantry.  They fought in many battles, including the Battle of Corinth where William’s brother James was wounded.  William reenlisted as a veteran on December 23, 1863 at Pulaski, TN.  Later his company was a part of Gen. Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign.  William was killed in action during the bloody Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, GA.  The researchers found no burial location for William either.

Isaac, born about 1843 in Kentucky, was the last of the three brothers to enlist.  He entered service on January 8, 1862 when he enlisted in Company H of the 61st Illinois Infantry that was headed by Daniel Grass of Lawrenceville.  He was mustered in for three years of service on March 7, 1862 at Benton Barracks near St. Louis.  He was described as an eighteen-year-old single farmer from Lawrence County, IL who stood 5’5 ½” tall with dark hair, gray eyes, and a dark complexion.  As with many of the young soldiers, who had not been far from his home, he was not immune to many of the prevailing diseases.  In addition, sanitary conditions were very poor at the military installations.  Isaac did not live long after he enlisted; he died of disease at Benton Barracks on May 18, 1862, barely over two months after he arrived. Even though Isaac had been the last of the three brothers to enlist, he was the first to die during his service.  No burial location for Isaac could be found either.

            Thanks to Dan Scherer for this biography.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Warm-up jackets from LHS

Could someone please help us date these Warm-up jackets from  Lawrenceville High School?

Monday, August 14, 2017

BTHS Valedictorians and Salutatorians 1966-1971

BTHS Valedictorians and Salutatorians 1966-1971
Martha Smith 1966-1967
Ann Baker 1967-68
Ted Crewell 1968-69
Nancy Wheatley 1969-70
Michael Jay Hammer 1970-71

Linda Duckworth 1966-67
Nancy Cooper 1967-68
Robert Wiswall 1968-69
Cynthia Wagner 1969-70
Paula Sue Curts 1970-71

Friday, August 11, 2017

Sand Barrens UB Church

History Detectives:  This is a photo of the congregation on the lawn of the Sand Barrens UB Church near St. Francisville but it is not dated.  By looking at the car or the clothes, or maybe even recognizing someone, can you tell us the date that it might have been taken?

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Home Town Teams

Nancy K is planning the Home Town Teams exhibit for this fall's School reunions.  Among our collections are letter jackets/sweaters/uniforms from Bridgeport, Lawrenceville, St Francisville and Sumner. We have trophies from BTHS but none from the other three schools.  There are lots of photographs as well.  If you have a memento that you don't mind donating, we will happily accept it.

Reunion organizers:  If you want a special time to bring in your class alumni to see this exhibit, please contact the History Center.  
North Egypt Champions
1959 Baseball BTHS